Sourdough Starter



  1. Add yeast and warm water to a large glass bowl.
  2. Add flour and stir with a spatula until smooth.
  3. Cover with a flour sack towel or cheesecloth
  4. Let stand in a warm, draft-free place until the starter begins to ferment; about 24 hours. Bubbles will appear on the surface of the starter when fermentation has begun.
  5. If fermentation does not occur after 24 hours, discard and begin again.
  6. Stir well, cover tightly with plastic wrap and return to warm place.
  7. Let stand until foamy, 2 to 3 days.
  8. Stir well and pour into a 2-quart crock or glass jar with a tight-fitting cover.
  9. Store in refrigerator.
  10. When a clear liquid has risen to the top, starter is ready to use.
  11. Stir before using.


Makes about 4 cups of starter.

Use glass containers and plastic spatulas or wooden spoons when working with sourdough starters. Metal containers and utensils produce an undesirable flavor.

If your starter turns orange or pink and develops an unpleasant acrid odor, undesirable bacteria has invaded it and the starter must be discarded.

Starter can be stored for several weeks.

If starter is used regularly, it will be active indefinitely.

Refrigerated starter should come to room temperature before using.

To replenish starter, add equal amounts of flour and water. For example, if you use 1 cup of starter for a recipe, replenish by adding 1 cup flour and 1 cup water. Cover and let stand in a warm place overnight.

Stir, cover and refrigerate.

If refrigerated starter hasn't been used for 2 to 3 weeks, remove ½ cup and discard. Replenish as directed above.

Freshly fed starter may be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature. Let stand in a warm place overnight until active and bubbly.

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